What do you get when you close down a street, put up three stages for 10 bands to perform live entertainment and invite around 25,000 of your closest friends to dress up in costume to come and celebrate Halloween? You get Moonfest, the single largest Halloween party in South Florida. Started 22 years ago by Rodney Mayo (owner of Respectable Street on Clematis) and joined one year later by Maurice Costigan (owner of O’Shea’s Pub), the two men have been making Moonfest the must-visit Halloween party and this year was no different.
“It is the people watching event of the year,” said Costigan, “and we had a very eclectic crowd.” Partygoers are 21 and older, but in Florida it’s not unusual to see even octogenarians attending Moonfest in full costume. “You never know what to expect when you walk down the block.”
A party of this magnitude requires organization and the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority (DDA) had a big hand in managing traffic, parking and security so that revelers could enjoy a fun yet safe evening out and about. Food trucks and local establishments offered tasty treats and specials, while merchants and street performers also kept the crowd entertained. Live music and people dressed as dead or nearly dead versions conspired to make the night scary fun. First-aid stations made sure that bleeding from vampire bites were at a bare minimum.
Costumes ranged from the traditional witches and goblins to the outrageous, “What were you thinking?” Hilarious highlights included a small dog driving a big car and a larger-than-life robot. Of course, there were plenty of werewolves, pirates, superheroes, scarecrows, zombies and devils as well as undefined characters that roamed the blocks of West Palm Beach until 2 a.m. when the party shut down, while Costigan said cleanup continued through the night and he didn’t see lights-out until 8 a.m. the next morning.
Even though it took two days to recover from the festivities, plans are already in place for Moonfest 2015 to eclipse itself. The first meeting to discuss this year’s event and how to make it even better for next October is already on the agenda in a matter of days. You can never plan too far in advance, especially when it comes to celebrating Halloween.
To learn more about the biggest, best Halloween party in South Florida, visit www.moonfestevents.com. And to see numerous pictures and comments pouring in from this year’s attendees, visit www.facebook.com/Moonfestwpb.